Mitt Romney is no conservative.
There isn’t a question in my mind that under a President Romney, America will continue down the same road that our elected (and unelected) government office holders have been dragging her from at least the time of the last half of the nineteenth century. Yet the rate of decline under Romney promises to be slower than it will be under Obama.
And if we thought Obama was a “transformative” president in his first term, just wait until his second.
I argued recently that for this reason, the lover of liberty must see to it that Obama is defeated.
Though far from ideal, the only remotely viable option available to liberty lovers this Election Day is Mitt Romney.
To this proposition, many of my fellow Ron Paul supporters and facebook friends took unequivocal exception. Our current dilemma is a result of just that “choose the lesser of two evils” approach that I appear to be recommending, several people insisted. One person went so far as to charge me with being a “hypocrite” and a “traitor.” Another suggested that everything that I have written up to this juncture is now suspect in her eyes.
Let me reiterate: neither my last article nor this one should be confused with an apology for Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor, politically speaking, is a modern “liberal” or, maybe, a neoconservative (for all practical purposes, a distinction without a difference). I would have chosen—and, in fact, did choose—Ron Paul hands down over Romney and any other Republican—a fact born out by the countless hours I invested in arguing inexhaustibly on the Texas Congressman’s behalf.
My position is not pro-Romney. It is resolutely anti-Obama. And it is anti-Obama for the same reason that it was—and remains—pro-Paul: the love of liberty demands it.
Ron Paul is not going to be the GOP nominee. No apostle of liberty will achieve that distinction. And with the possible exception of Paul, who already made it clear that he will retire from politics by season’s end, no so-called Third Party candidate will hold so much as the proverbial snowball’s chance in hell of altering the outcome of this election.
That leaves Romney.
But, my fellow Paul supporters protest, a vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil. This makes a great bumper sticker slogan, but once we engage in just a modicum of thought, its surface plausibility dissolves before our minds.
The Republican Party is a party of evil. Those of Paul’s supporters who now berate me for advocating evil by throwing in behind Romney (but, more importantly, against Obama), must believe this. Many have explicitly said as much. However, what this entails is that if I am a moral fraud and traitor for abetting evil by voting for Romney, then Ron Paul is at least as guilty of the same. After all, for decades he has hitched his political career to this party of evil.
No, no, no, I will be told, Paul is trying to change the GOP from within. This and only this is the reason for his decision to run for Congress and the Presidency, not as an Independent, but a Republican.
This will not wash.
First, if by voting for Romney I become complicit in the evil of his policies, then by becoming a Republican Ron Paul makes himself an accomplice to the evil of his party’s policies.
Second, I too am trying to change the GOP. I am also trying to change my country. In the short term, I aim to accomplish this by retarding, however slightly, the decline that Obama has facilitated.
I mention Ron Paul and his decision to identify as a Republican, but perhaps his son Rand is a more illustrative example of the sorts of points that I seek to make.
Rand, too, has collaborated with evil by becoming a Republican, no? Worst—horror of horrors!—Rand has said that in the event that his father doesn’t secure his party’s nomination, he would indeed endorse the GOP candidate.
Is Rand Paul a hypocrite and a traitor? Should everything that he has said and done on behalf of liberty now be dismissed because of this?
In the real world, as opposed to the utopian imaginings of my critics, advancing one’s interests, whether in the political or non-political realms, always involves compromises and concessions of various sorts. Is Thomas Jefferson—a man who figures to no slight extent for Paul supporters—a fraud, a hypocrite, and a traitor to the cause of liberty because he owned slaves? It is true that Jefferson and other Founders argued relentlessly against the institution of human bondage, but they also made concessions to its defenders that insured the maintenance of slavery for nearly another 80 years.
It may be an exaggeration to say that every choice is a choice between two evils, but, if so, it is not that much of an exaggeration. Every choice definitely consists of the loss of something of value.
Paul supporters should remember this—especially given that they have been supporting a candidate who has been a member of an evil political party for decades.